House shopping can be pretty confusing, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. Even after going through the entire home buying process, it is quite normal to second-guess your decision. After all, it's a significant investment, and you want to be sure you're not making a mistake. But how can you be sure?
If you've been searching for a perfect Boston home for a while, you've probably looked around many properties. You've probably seen some that felt "almost" right and that they could "sort of" work. However, as buying a home is a significant commitment, you don't want to be almost sure but 100% certain you're making the right choice.
You're instantly drawn to the listing picture
One of the first signs that say you might find the right property is the instant attraction you feel when you see the listing photos. Something about the place will make you want to take time off your busy schedule and see it above all other properties.
Of course, seeing listing photos is not enough to decide to buy a new home, especially in the Greater Boston metro area. So before scheduling a viewing, make sure to evaluate photos from both aesthetic and functional perspectives thoroughly. Some listings may have matterport tours where you can “walk” through every inch of the home, which is a particularly useful tool. Others may have floorplans attached, which can also give you a sense of the functionality of the footprint of the home. Whether you’re out of state and buying remotely or you're buying a home the old fashion way, carefully evaluating photos will save your time and disappointment.
It fits your budget
When buying a home, one of the most important things to always keep in mind is your budget. It may seem like a ridiculous thing to say, but we are currently in the midst of one of the most competitive buyer’s markets ever. From January 1st to February 15th of this year, in Boston, 158 homes sold for at least $100,000 over asking price, up from 45 in the same time period in 2021. Buyers are feeling pressured to overextend themselves financially while competing for a very small number of homes. But, you want to buy a home that you can afford. In particular, you want to make sure that your agent does a comparable market analysis to evaluate the fair market value of your home so that you don’t obliterate the potential equity in the home and find yourself stuck there for 30 years.
Your home should be your place of comfort and security. If you go over your budget, your home will become the source of stress and dread. Sooner than later, you would realize you'd made a mistake that you can’t do much to reverse–in particular because selling a home is much more expensive than buying one when it comes to out-of-pocket costs.
You no longer feel like looking at other homes
When you started looking for your new home, you probably found many homes on the market that fit your budget and checked many boxes from your "needs and wants" list. However, once you've found a home that's right for you, you suddenly won't be interested in even looking at new homes on the market. So, if you see a property and all you can think about is making it your new home, take it as a sign that it's the right home for you.
It checks all of your "must-have" boxes
One of the best ways to know if a home is right for you is to check your needs and wants list. Of course, if the home checks off all the boxes, there's no doubt that it's "the one".
However, do keep in mind that it's improbable you'll find a home that has absolutely everything from your list. Therefore, make sure to prioritize features that are your must-haves.
You compare other homes to it
People often see a home they like, but they decide to look further and see what else is out there. However, once they continue looking, they start comparing every new home to that one. Suddenly, every property has a flaw that's an instant deal-breaker, and no other home is as nice.
So, if you catch yourself referring to one particular home over and over, maybe it's time to stop looking. Perhaps the right home was right in front of you all that time, but it just took a little bit convincing. If it wasn't, you wouldn't have made it into a standard by which you measure other homes.
You instantly feel "at home"
Feeling at home is an odd and complicated feeling to describe as it's different for everyone. However, you will definitely know it when you feel it. Once you've seen enough open houses, you'll notice that each of them has a different feel. There will be homes that feel inviting and cozy, and some you won't be able to get out soon enough.
However, the home that's just right for you will feel right. It's the place you feel normal in, and that gives you a feeling of comfort and "being home". Here are just some telltale signs:
The property makes you feel comfortable. Even the master bedroom feels too homely given the fact it belongs to someone else.
You can easily imagine yourself living there.
You know exactly how to decorate each room and where your favorite pieces will go.
You simply have a gut feeling that
Lastly, remember that your intuition is there for a reason, and now might be a perfect time to listen to it. After you've gone through all the numbers again and quadruple-checked your lists, all it comes down to is your gut feeling. After all, this isn't just a financial investment but an emotional purchase, too.
Did you recognize any signs you've found the right home?
I won't lie - the home buying process is not easy, and you'll probably feel like giving up at a certain point. However, if you arm yourself with patience and listen to guidance from your experienced Boston Realtor®, you'll quickly find a property that instantly feels like your next home. You'll know what signs to look for and that will tell you you've found the right home. Best of luck with your Boston real estate adventure!